How do I prevent a webpage from logging me of?
June 27, 2013 12:01 AM   Subscribe

There's a webpage that keeps logging me off for inactivity. Signing in again is a hassle. Is there some snazzy piece of software that anybody knows about that will periodically "poke" the page or something to keep it open indefinitely? Thanks to any who can help.
posted by gnossie to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Is this by any chance a bank site or other financial institution that's logging you off?
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 12:23 AM on June 27, 2013

Response by poster: No, it's an online course.
posted by gnossie at 12:40 AM on June 27, 2013

Try using a browser plugin that simply reloads the page: Chrome | Firefox
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:47 AM on June 27, 2013

You may want to check the cookies and see if an aggressive expiration is set there, then change it.
posted by dhartung at 3:25 AM on June 27, 2013

Be careful about using an extension that reloads the page while taking an online quiz. In my experience with Angel (which was developed by Satan just to play with us), if your instructor has not enabled the Save option, reloading the page will erase everything you've answered so far.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 7:19 AM on June 27, 2013

Best answer: Without knowing the specific mechanism the site uses to decide to time out, it's difficult to say that any one solution will work. Here are a few of the mechanisms I can think of, but no guarantees that any one of the solutions I offer will work for you:
  • The server uses a session cookie or a cookie that expires and detects how often it receives a request from that session - This can likely be solved by sending another request to the server, by (for instance) reloading the page or navigating to another page, though as others have mentioned doing so can cause other problems if the server doesn't save your work somehow.
  • A timestamp is stored in a form element or cookie representing the last point in time that you interacted with the server and that is sent - this is a really dumb way of doing it, but knowing online course coding standards, I could see it. You'd need some sort of script or something that can fudge the timestamp format, which would require some research and knowledge about how it generates that timestamp.
  • The page itself has a bit of Javascript that detects mouse or keyboard events on the page and resets a timer whenever a mouse or keyboard event occurs (this is probably the most likely scenario) - This one can have various solutions, depending on how far you want to go. A program (perhaps an Auto Hotkey script) that generates innocuous keyboard or mouse events that are sent to your browser could work, as could something like a Greasemonkey script that overrides the timeout script (though you'd likely have to understand the specific code they use in this case).
  • Some combination of the above - in this case, you might need multiple solutions that address the various parts of the issue.
Good luck.
posted by Aleyn at 3:32 PM on June 27, 2013

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